2004 March:

Preparation. Participation in the International Policy Fellowship Seminar organized by the Center for Policy Studies (March 22 – March 27, 2004).

2004 April-May:

Identifying the main Hungarian actors involved in sexual orientation based anti-discrimination and equal treatment policymaking processes. Collecting material about the different phases of equal treatment policy development between 2003 and early 2004.

Arranging interviews with leaders and/or members of NGOs representing the interests of sexual minorities (Habeas Corpus Work Group, Háttér Support Society for Gays and Lesbians, Labrisz Lesbian Association, Lambda-Budapest Gay Association, “Öt Kenyér” Christian Association for Homosexuals, DAMKÖR), and representatives of Hungarian political parties.

2004 June:

Consulting the international literature, preparing an overview of the social situation of LGBT people in Hungary in the context of EU expectations.

2004 July:

Arranging interviews with Hungarian politicians. Contacting the Dutch Commissie Gelijke Behandeling (Equal Treatment Committee) and Radar, Dutch anti-discrimination monitoring NGO in preparation for a data gathering field trip to the Netherlands.

Preparing summaries of accumulated results and a draft research paper.

2004 August-September:

Restructuring my research activities: According to my original plan I wanted to work mainly on Hungarian issues but I ended up focussing at least as much attention on the international context – especially on the role of European institutions and international NGOs – as on the Hungarian developments. I have realized that the main Hungarian actors involved in sexual orientation based anti-discrimination and equal treatment policymaking processes were government experts and bureaucrats, and there were only a few Hungarian politicians and NGOs who showed any interest and activity in this field. Therefore my research paper in its final – slightly restructured – form includes three main elements: (i) Overview of the situation of LGBT people in Hungary; (ii) “Retrospective ethnography” of the Hungarian anti-discrimination and equal treatment policymaking (including some examples of applying the anti-discrimination legislation in practice): With the help of Hungarian experts, actively involved in developing the Equal Treatment Act, I was able to follow – retrospectively – the main stages of this development. In my research paper I present these stages as well as the main theoretical considerations of the Hungarian anti-discrimination legislation. During the first year of the Equal treatment Act being in force (2004), there were only a few practical cases in which the act was applied. However, practical application of equal treatment claims (concerning LGBT people) could be observed in a broader context. I have collected and presented these cases in my research paper, too. (iii) Analysis of the international policy context, identifying problematic issues and good practices.

2004 October-November:

Conducting interviews with the following international experts and stakeholders:

Tania Barkhuis, Consultant, COC Netherlands: Federation of Dutch Associations for the Integration of Homosexuality; Florin Buhuceanu, Executive Director, ACCEPT, Romania; Barry Fitzpatrick, Head of Legal Policy and Advice, Equality Commission for Northern Ireland; Gert Hekma, Lecturer of Gay and Lesbian Studies at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the University of Amsterdam; Scott Long, Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Project, Human Rights Watch; Judith Schuijf, Senior Consultant, Homo Emancipatiebeleid, Expertise Centre on Gay and Lesbian Policy Issues, the Netherlands; Anette Sjödin, Project Coordinator, RFSL: The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights; Gunnar Svensson, Project Manager, “Norm-giving diversity”, a project within the Equal program focused on the situation of LGBT personnel within the Church of Sweden, the Swedish Police and the Swedish Armed Forces; Hans Ytterberg, Ombudsman against Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation, Sweden; Kees Waaldijk, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Leiden University, Head of the European Group of Experts on Combating Sexual Orientation Discrimination; Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law, King’s College, London.

2004 November:

Study trip to the Netherlands. Participation in the Mainstreaming Policies on Sexual Orientation in Europe conference organised by the COC Netherlands and the Dutch EU Presidency. Conducting interviews and collecting study material in Amsterdam.

2004 December:

Giving a paper on “The influence of European institutions on gay and lesbian rights in Hungary” at the Gay and Lesbian Rights in an Enlarged Europe conference in Brussels.

2005 January-March:

Analysing the accumulated results. Preparing my research paper and policy paper.

2005 April:

Participation in the International Policy Fellowship Seminar organized by the Center for Policy Studies (April 4 – April 8, 2005). Giving a public lecture on “The Development of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination and Equal Treatment Policymaking in Hungary” at CEU, Budapest.

2005 May:

Completing the final version of my research paper and my policy paper. Preparing the dissemination of my findings, including the preparation for publishing an English-Hungarian bilingual book on “How to put equality into practice?”.

Budapest, May 20, 2005

Judit Takács, Ph.D.